Review: Rogue One (2016)


This electrifying standalone Star Wars chapter takes place before the events of A New Hope, when a band of rebels – fronted by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), the daughter of a scientist forced to work for the Empire – band together to steal the plans for the Death Star, a new super weapon that has the power to destroy planets. It’s directed by Gareth Edwards, whose attentive approach to visuals awards the film a lived-in feel, whether in space or on one of the many planets featured. The action is kinetic, cross-cutting between various characters’ motivations and battles that are all as emotional and vividly realised as each other. It’s perhaps the third act that impresses the most with its unrelenting ability to thrill. Each actor has a moment to shine, though the stand-outs include Jones’ fiery Jyn and Donnie Yen’s blind warrior. The dark, melancholic tone that mimics real life war is punctuated by flashes of inspired comic relief, most of which are provided by droid K-2SO, voiced in deadpan manner by Alan Tudyk. There’s a few CGI elements that don’t quite sit right, but none that take away enormously from what an absolute thrill-ride Rogue One turns out to be.

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